Professor Eleanor Dodson has played a key role in the development of mathematical and computational techniques to define crystallography. Her career began in the 1960s when she was recruited for her mathematical skills to work with the Nobel Prize-winner Dorothy Hodgkin’s group at Oxford, which in 1969 solved the structure of insulin. She arrived in York in 1976 with her husband Guy Dodson and has seen the research group grow rapidly to become the York Structural Biology Laboratory, with around 70 members. Her pioneering work to develop analytical tools that allow non-experts to access modern crystallographic techniques led to her election as Fellow of the Royal Society in 2003. All of this has been achieved working mainly part-time on short-term contracts fitting her work around bringing up a family of four children.
How she benefits
"It is always complicated to combine family life and any employment, and each person has to work out their own solution. For me, most important was the feeling that my contribution was useful. Having children changes one's priorities I think. Everyone must adjust to the conflicting demands of home-work and we all find different solutions. I am grateful to the department for allowing us to be flexible and for their interest and enthusiasm. Role models do help, and York is lucky in that there are quite a few."
- Professor Eleanor Dodson FRS